First Light

First Light

by Geoffrey Wellum


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Two months before the outbreak of the Second World War, seventeen-year-old Geoffrey Wellum becomes a fighter pilot with the RAF . . . Desperate to get in the air, he makes it through basic training to become the youngest Spitfire pilot in the prestigious 92 Squadron. Thrust into combat almost immediately, Wellum finds himself flying several sorties a day, caught up in terrifying dogfights with German Me 109s. Over the coming months he and his fellow pilots play a crucial role in the Battle of Britain. But of the friends that take to the air alongside Wellum many never return.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780141042756
Publisher: Penguin UK
Publication date: 09/22/2009
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.77(h) x 0.84(d)

About the Author

Geoffrey Wellum was born in Walthamstow. Aged seventeen, he joined the RAF on a short-service commission in August 1939 and served with 92 Squadron throughout the Battle of Britain. He is now one of the last surviving members of The Few. He is contacted regularly to make television and radio programmes.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

Prologue xiii

1 Ab Initio 1

2 Ad Astra 26

3 Fighter Squadron 90

4 First Light 133

5 Mars, God of War 159

6 Brief Encounter 174

7 Parting Day 186

8 Snappers About 199

9 Convoy Pair 209

10 Over There 248

11 White Cliffs 262

12 Twilight 284

13 Beyond the Hill 288

14 Return to the Fray 294

15 Operation Pedestal 306

16 White Clouds 330

Epilogue 337

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First Light: The True Story of the Boy Who Became a Man in the War-Torn Skies above Britain 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
lamour on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This a truly remarkable book. Wellum kept notes during his time training to fly Spitfires in the period before and during the Battle of Britain. In the 1990's he took those notes and wrote this book. He is very open about the stress of day after day of facing death and how it changed him and other pilots from optimistic young men to men who feared each day was their last. He eventually was relieved of combat flying because of stress. This is also a very different view of the Battle of Britain when compared to those written by other famous pilots such as Bader, Johnson and Lucas. This is possibly because Wellum was so young when he started flying combat missions. For that reason alone, it is well worth reading.